The Union Budget presented by Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram drew mixed response in Udupi district on Thursday.

Prasad raj Kantian, president of Udupi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Mr. Chidambaram has taken commendable steps to reduce fiscal deficit to 4.8 per cent in addition to taking measures to cut expenditure. The interest rebate on housing loan to first-time buyers is a good move. The provision of Rs. 1,000 crore for safety of women especially after the spurt in crime against women is a commendable move, he said.

As regards the negative points of the Budget, levying of 10 per cent service tax on air-conditioned restaurants would be a burden on middle-class families. N. Bhojaraj Shetty, president of District Small Industries Association, said there was nothing special for the small industries in the Budget.

“Only the industrial sector in big cities such as Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai, will benefit from the Budget,” he said.

Admar Sripati Acharya, convener of Joint Council of Trade Unions, said the Budget would not facilitate growth of the economy. “It is a populist budget,” he said.

K. Shankar, Secretary of the District Committee of Communist Party of India (Marxist), said the Budget would only fuel price rise and inflation. Deviprasad Shetty, president of district unit of Janata Dal (Secular), said it was a disappointing budget. There was nothing much for rural development in it. It favoured the rich and was against the poor, he said.

Yamuna R. Kundar, president of Udupi Taluk Anganwadi Workers and Assistants Association, said there had been no increase in the honorarium for anganwadi workers in the Budget which was disappointing.

K. Jayaprakash Hegde, Udupi-Chikmagalur MP, said more funds had been allocated for rural development, infrastructure development, health and education in the Budget.

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